Sunday, November 9, 2008

Grumpy Old Man

When I turned 30 I noticed that store employees started calling me sir. I turned 40 a couple months ago and was dealing with it pretty well until this week. A 20 year old kid was in my office and saw pictures of my kids and asked if "those were all my grand kids. " At first I just figured he was clueless but then I also remembered that I have recently been getting flyers in the mail from a hearing aid company. So while I was in my rocking chair yesterday I was thinking back about the many changes in society and advances in technology that have happened during my long lifetime. I felt like Dana Carvey's character "Grumpy Old Man" when I think back about how things used to be when I was younger. Here are a few of my observations.

In my day kids had to have an attention span to watch TV. It took metal toughness to watch Mr. Roger's 15 minute hushed toned monologues before we could get to the real action of watching Lady Aberlin and Bob Dog visit the place where they make apple sauce.

In my day nobody have ADD. It was just called "childhood". Since when were young kids supposed to pay attention for more than a few minutes? They weren't so quick to prescribe drugs to anyone who struggled in school either. Instead they'd just put you in the brown reading group. People didn't have Alzheimer's back then either, it was just called old age.

In my day very few people had child restraints in cars and if you did you quit using them once a child was old enough to walk. Today you get a ticket if your 12 year old is not in a car seat. We also used to pack 7 kids into a station wagon with the back seats folded flat with no seat belts. It built character.

In my day it was normal to skin you knees and elbows and get cuts, bruises, and road rash. The only people who wore helmets and pads were a football players. I guess you could have worn them to ride a bike if you were looking to get beat up.

In my day it used to take 45 seconds just to dial a phone number because we had to actually "dial" the number. Most young people today don't know what dialing means. Today nearly every 6th grader has his own cel phone and you are a neglectful parent if your child doesn't.

In my day when you wrote a paper for school it was either hand written or typed. Yes they taught typing with typewriters when I was in high school. We also did our research out of actual books like encyclopedias.

In my day the controls for video games consisted of one black stick and one orange button. Today you need a PHD to operate a game controller. I could go into more detail on this topic but I already have on a prior entry.

In my day when you watched a medicine commercial on TV they had a simple slogan like plop plop fizz fizz and that was about it. Today medicine commercials use most of the time listing close to 20 horrific side effects that are far worse than what ever might be ailing you. But that's ok because they usually show someone walking on the beach or curled up in front of the fireplace with a good book with a smile on her face as they list them.

In my day shorts were actually short. Today they should be called baggys. You could make uniforms for my entire high school basketball team out of all the fabric from one of Karl Malone's uniforms. (I'm not complaining. This one actually is an improvement). Speaking of the NBA, when I watched games growing up I can't remember one player who had a tatoo. I recently watched an old video tape of the 1992 NBA Allstar Game and not even Dennis Rodman had any visible tatoos back then. While I'm on the topic of sports, that reminds me that in youth sports only the winning teams used to get trophies!

I know that there are people much older than me who think I had it easy and can't wait to jump in and say "that's nothing" and one up me with stories about out houses and starting their car with a crank, but fortunately most old people are scared to death of computers and don't know what a blog is so I don't have to worry about that happening. If I'm hip enough to have a blog than maybe I'm not ready to join AARP yet.


MikkSolo said...

In my day I remember having to actually rewind movies before I could watch them. DVD's are a great improvement here. In my day seat belts were optional, but seldom used. It was so much more fun to bounce around in the back seat. Long trips were fun to make a "bed" out of pillows and sleep your way through the long car trip. Family movies were setting up the projector and putting on unlabled movies until you actually found one you wanted to watch. In my day going to a fun restaurant for your birthday usually was at McDonalds. What other choices were there? bottom line is some things have changed for good but I miss the old days! Good luck, by the way, with all the "grand kids." I still think you look like a newly returned missionary.


Beckalita said...

In my day we also "dialed" the microwave (once we had one)and slept with rollers in our hair. Those were the days. I can't wait to see your great-grand-children!

bonnie jack said...

wow, you are old. :)

Cherie said...

I think you just described some of the top reasons why we homeschool! *don't want my kids drugged and *It takes way too long to strap them in carseats 20 times a day for the next 25 years.
I do have to add something to your shorts comment though... While the NBA's are getting longer, the general population's are getting shorter. I can't remember the last time I saw a girl wearing clothing that didn't leave me feeling embarrassed.

Maui said...

My youngest daughter found a rotary phone toy, and asked me what it was. I didn't look like any phone she'd ever seen.

Anonymous said...

I've seen the 20somethings come into you office...they are defintely clueless for the most part.

Kelly said...

That rotary phone comment reminded me of this you tube video I recently saw

Check it out Chaka